I’ve had a couple of questions on the yarn I used for the Tilted Duster, so I’m copying and pasting the response I posted on Ravelry here, for non-Raveling blog readers.
Rebecca, to answer your specific question, I wouldn’t have even considered Kid Classic as a substitute due to the price, but I’m sure you could get gauge and block it out nicely, so I think it would work beautifully if you can wear it comfortably next to your neck. I’ve read a few comments from people who find it itchy.
I haven’t used Kid Classic before, though (again, a price issue, I really wanted to use it for my Greek Pullover but couldn’t bring myself to spend that much)–does anyone who’s used it have any thoughts on its suitability for this pattern?
If you like the look of it, you might try an aran tweed yarn like PikkuKettu did (link below). I think Rowan yarns are most likely quite a bit cheaper for you across the pond. In any case, any worsted/aran weight wool would be a perfectly fine substitute, I think.
The Plymouth Encore Worsted I used (color 0149) has some pros and cons. I’m pretty happy with it overall. Would I recommend it for this pattern? Yes. Would I recommend it over Peruvia, or another wool yarn? No, not necessarily.
- price–it’s nice and cheap. This was the main reason I chose this yarn for the project: I had the Encore in stash already in an appropriate amount, and got gauge. I would have loved to have knit this out of the recommended Peruvia or Rowanspun Aran, like PikkuKettu did, but I was good and knit from the stash instead. Now I have a handknit that is very wearable and also less “precious” than it would have been if I had used a higher-end yarn, so it may end up being used and abused more than if I had used something fancier.
- durability–I don’t know how the Peruvia wears, but I suspect it may end up pilling/fuzzing more than the Encore will because it’s a wool singles yarn as opposed to a plied wool/acrylic blend. I’ve heard great comments from people about how well the Encore holds up, including someone whose Encore sweater ended up being trodden and scratched into the muck by their chickens, and they said it looked perfect again after a machine wash. I made my boyfriend a hat from the Plymouth and it has held up well, which was what made me buy a sweater’s worth in the first place. I am seeing some surface fuzz, but no real pills yet.
- easy care–I probably won’t do this, but it’s nice to know I can if I have to: the Plymouth is machine-wash and dry. I wore it out to dinner and a karaoke bar last night. After my friend knocked back five vodka shots during his first song, and then decided to come hang out and lean boozily over the back of my chair where my sweater was draped, it was good to know I would be able to toss it into the washer if he ended up tossing some other things* all over it. (Thankfully, it didn’t become an issue)
- softness–the sweater is quite snug in various places, including around the neck and arms, so it’s good to have something you can tolerate against your bare skin. I think you can feel the acrylic content in the Encore, but it’s not squeaky or anything, and it’s next-to-skin soft to me.
- colors–it comes in a pretty good range of colors. I really like this heathered pale blue.
- memory–The Encore has pretty good memory. This is good in a way, because it helps the coat keep its shape and not sag down to your knees under its own weight, but actually not a great thing because of the ribbing on the front skirt, which, as you’ve probably seen in FO pictures, has a tendency to pull out to the sides, making the front opening gape, sometimes a bit more severely than you would want. The pic in the magazine has clearly been blocked to keep the fronts open, but not pulling completely out to the sides, just a slight and gentle concave curve. The natural tendency of the pattern is for the front edges to swoop outwards towards the sides, because of the way the biased ribbing pulls it in. I’m curious about how this would behave knit in something with inferior memory, like cotton or alpaca.
- limited blocking options–The aforementioned issues can be combatted with a good blocking. I wet-blocked my duster, but I wish I could run over the ribbing with a steam iron and flatten it out. I’ve heard this will totally ruin the knit due to the acrylic content, so I’m not going to try it, but if I had knit it in Peruvia you can bet I would have ironed the front totally flat and straight if I could.
- warmth–I doubt this will be as warm as a pure wool version would be. Because of this, and since the sleeves are too tight to allow for several layers underneath, it’s probably going to be worn only in fall and spring. I can fit a single cotton long-sleeved shirt underneath, but I wouldn’t be able to wear this as a coat over another sweater.
That’s all I can think of right now. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.
* i.e. cookies.